* TSX rises 37.84 points, or 0.31 percent, to 12,209.88.
* Six of 10 sectors higher; gold stocks drive gains (Updates to close. Adds analyst comments)
By Trish Nixon
TORONTO, Sept 20 (Reuters) - Surging gold miners pushed Toronto's main stock index to a higher close on Tuesday in a market rally helped by investor hopes that the U.S. Federal Reserve will offer more economic stimulus.
At the end of its two-day meeting on Wednesday, the Fed is expected to announce plans to intervene in the bond market to push long-term interest rates -- already near historic lows -- even lower in a move known as Operation Twist. [FED/AHEAD]
"The market is optimistic that the Fed might introduce more stimulus in terms of making some new policies to provide more liquidity," said Marcus (Ming) Xu, director of equity investments at Genus Capital Management in Vancouver.
"If the liquidity is there, the market will like it ... if it's something else, it could induce more volatility."
Gold miners led the gains on the TSX, lifted by the price of bullion. Gold was set for its biggest daily gain in over a week after a downgrade to Italy's credit rating added to the strain on European leaders to solve the region's debt crisis. [GOL/]
Goldcorp (G.TO) was the top heavy-weight advancer, up 5.2 percent at C$52.62, followed by Barrick Gold (ABX.TO), which rose 1.6 percent to C$53.72.
The Toronto Stock Exchange's S&P/TSX composite index .GSPTSE ended the session up 37.84 points, or 0.31 percent, at 12,209.88. Six of 10 main sectors were higher.
Banks and insurers helped support the index, adding 0.3 percent. Royal Bank of Canada (RY.TO) was among the most influential advancers, up 0.9 percent at C$47.04.
But base-metal miners dragged, extending losses from the previous session as copper closed down near nine-month lows. Concerns that the global economic slowdown will crimp demand were compounded by an International Monetary Fund downgrade to its forecast for world growth. [MET/L]
Potash Corp (POT.TO) lost 3.1 percent to C$51.72, while Teck Resources TCKb.TO fell 4.1 percent to C$36.11 and First Quantum Minerals (FM.TO) lost 7.6 percent to C$17.94.
($1=$0.99 Canadian) (Editing by Jeffrey Hodgson)